Innovations Session N°9

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Successes from Women-led agribusinesses in Africa

The recording of the session is available in English and French on YouTube.


The way forward

Achieving gender equality and empowering women in agriculture is crucial for agricultural development and food security and can contribute to lessen gender gap, boost per capita income growth, and generally reduce poverty. Policy interventions can help close the gender gap in agriculture and rural labour markets. Governments, the international community and civil society should work together to eliminate discrimination, promote equal access to resources and opportunities, and make women’s voices heard as equal partners for sustainable development.

Rural women increasingly run their own enterprises, yet their entrepreneurial potential remain largely unrecognised and untapped. Enabling gender responsive policies, services and business environments are crucial to stimulate the start-up and upgrading of women’s businesses and thereby help generate decent and productive work.

Women’s economic empowerment also means voice and representation in decision-making, participation in policy and institutional change processes and strong business networks. Training and skills upgrading are needed to strengthen women entrepreneurs’ business management, marketing and technical skills, with an emphasis on growth sectors, green technologies and safe and sustainable farming and agro-processing practices (standards, safety measures). It will contribute to upgrade clusters/sectors to support the transition of women-led enterprises from informal to formal status as well. More investments need to be done on strengthening data collection and analysis efforts to better understand and address the constraints that women farmers face in specific value chains.

Key points for discussion on promoting women-led SMEs and businesses

  • What are the drivers of success of women-led SMEs in the agrifood sector: what innovations, technologies, knowledge and finance do they attract and need?
  • How to upscale women-led investments and rural women enterprises?
  • What incentives can be provided to attract and retain women-led SMEs and smallholders in value-addition in local and export markets?

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Join our Agrinnovators community forum to discuss and explore how to encourage innovations across agricultural value chains to transform food systems in Africa, promote sustainable agriculture, and leverage investment. Share insights, ask questions, and collaborate on innovative solutions for a greener future

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In English

In French


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